Friday, June 24, 2005

Tale of the Tribe

I look forward to this course in the Fall, as Bob’s eclectic mind seems to range over material I have a lot of empathy for. As the course material will probably get published later, under the same title, this feels like an opportunity to contribute (however indirectly) to shaping Bob’s thoughts – to actually getting involved in reader feedback on draft material – a really interactive option.

Bumph: "The first of Wilson's MLA courses bridging the political, the social and the psychological, Tale of the Tribe promises to be a landmark journey with our dear Dr. Bob. Starring Giordano Bruno, Giambatista Vico, Friederich Nietzsche, Ernest Fenollosa, Ezra Pound, Alfred Korzybski, James Joyce, Buckminster Fuller, Claude Shannon and Marshall McLuhan -- the nucleus of the extraordinary minds that have helped shape the information age of 21st century and the mindscape of Robert Anton Wilson. Join Wilson as he explores the themes, minds and ideas of his forthcoming book, The Tale of the Tribe."

I would say that all the people Bob enjoys seem to have a ‘magical’ quality to them – and the theme of hidden streams of ancient knowledge, as well as the possibility of new models of the universe. Although Bob acknowledges an interest in Crowley, he doesn’t recommend setting out to become a magickal practitioner, as such. Uncle Al does seem to obsess people (the Cult of Personality worked for him) but Bob leans the other way, it seems to me, towards freeing oneself from obsessions and habits of thinking, and/or worship of any particular form or method or person. He also explains the magical side to the arts (thinking of Burroughs and Pound and Joyce and the Surrealists) as well as of the sciences (with particular reference to Quantum Physics and anthropology and futurist planning and design).

So don’t feel dismayed if you think any particular area of study doesn’t appeal. The sheer eclectic mix means some particular approach to the future, or to the mind, or to the future mind or to the future of mind…may intrigue you.

RAW’s whole approach can lead to misunderstandings. The infinitely satirical side of Illuminatus! often gets overlooked, and the implications of the story get taken seriously, which means he gets described as a conspiracy theorist.

This seems strange to me, as that book seems like an obvious send-up of the conspiracy scene. Well, OK, that represents one of the various possible readings. The two Bobs who wrote it treated all conspiracy beliefs the same, and said “what if they all had a part of the truth?” Somehow, treating them all as real blows it up into an outrageously improbable picture of the insanity we live by…

1 comment:

Bogus Magus said...

I like the new Blogger image button. It takes a little fiddling around to line up picture and text as you want - but it makes the screen far more pleasant to read - than if filled with text alone.

Well, I think so...

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